Scott Kazmir‘s value is based on the following (in no particular order): he’s breathing; he’s left-handed; he’s a recognizable name; he’s available; and he’s cheap.
Because the Angels released Kazmir and are on the hook for the remainder of his salary (said to be about $9 million with his buyout), he’s floating around free.
Or basically free.
Teams with serious pitching issues are going to have a look at Kazmir; the team that signs him will only have to pay the big league minimum.
But is he even worth that?
Perhaps someone will think they can “fix” whatever ails him; whatever is causing him to get blasted in the minor leagues on a rehab assignment. A back problem sent him to the disabled list after on disastrous big league appearance this season and he’s been hideous in Triple A.
People know who Kazmir is because he was once a top prospect and rising star; he was part of one of the worst trades in recent baseball memory when the Mets sent him to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano. He’s still young—27—but because his results have been so terrible, no one should expect anything at all. In fact, if he’s able to rejuvenate his career into something more than as a journeyman lefty specialist a la Royce Ring, I’ll be stunned.
Sometimes there are side issues that have to be accounted for as was the case with a Colby Lewis, R.A. Dickey or Heath Bell who needed an opportunity more than anything else.
With Kazmir, the stuff that once made him a strikeout machine and All-Star appears to have deserted him. Triple A hitters aren’t young kids who’d be awestruck by facing a legitimate big leaguer; they’re veteran bats who are interchangeable with the 24th and 25th man on the major league roster; if they were ripping Kazmir, what are true big league mashers going to do to him?
He’s worth a look-see, but judging by numbers and perception, Kazmir is done.
Maybe he should start throwing sidearm.
And I’m not kidding.